How to Convert a Barn Part 99.  It is all about Marketing.

The chickens watch from the gate. They like the busyness as we rush in an out of that barn to polish taps, angle lights, and wrestle with curtains. It is fun, except when you get tripped up by a chicken, or until you go to IKEA to seek out fine, soft, crisp, bedding with tasteful cushions. IKEA is just a place for getting lost, feeling inadequate and making argumentative decisions about cheese graters.

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How NOT to Convert a Barn

We got to the best part. Sunshine pouring in through new windows, flooring going down, shelves going up, fresh paint licking corners and the excitement of ‘carpet day’ on the horizon. Even the sliding door, that kept getting stuck, started working. I was gloating over that door, thinking how silly I was to worry about it, all winter, when Building Control turned up. Then things went wrong.

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Jobs to do in the Garden in Winter

The relentless grey skies are lighter this week. Time to step outside and watch the cat get stuck up a tree, maybe waste hours trying to get her down with ladders and treats. Or, leave her up there, and follow this list of exciting things to do.

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Different Ways to Seize the Day

The Laburnum is out, summer is here, and it is getting busy. This week I did three things that are good for the soul. Swimming, metal detecting and rodent trapping. Which was best?

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May Jobs in the Garden

The new variant is settling in quickly. Our government seems more surprised about this than our scientists do. The rest of us talk about nonsense travel rules and worldwide vaccine distribution. Then we wonder if the UK road map to reopening might end up looking like this footpath.

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A Drawer Full of Nonsense

The patch of creeping thyme is struggling. It wants to spread a soft carpet across the rocks but bigger plants have turned up, and everyone is jostling for position. It is too complicated to control, so I leave them to fight it out and look for something else to organise. I trot indoors to play Feng Shui and find the drawer from hell.

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Why Symptoms are Important

April is National Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.  

It is a month when anybody who has bowel cancer awareness passes it on to those who don’t.

I had bowel cancer a few years ago and came out of it with a tale to tell. If a few people read this, I will have done my bit to spread awareness.  

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A Year in the Life of a Spare Room

In the olden days, people passed through this room for fun, or work, and often stayed for weeks. We kept it tidy, some people got fresh flowers, and everything worked fine. A year ago today that stopped, and a new word was born. ‘Stickitinthespareroom’ became a thing. It is going to take a lot more than a bunch of daffodils to sort this lot out.

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February Jobs in The Garden

The east winds are biting and the crocuses bite back, stubbornly forcing their way up through frozen earth. Crocuses symbolize a Brighter Tomorrow, which means planning. Time to think about February jobs in the garden.

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A Recipe for Perfect Pizza

The winter Jasmine is speckled yellow. A hint of spring, a promise that more splashes of colour are coming soon. But not yet. Storm Christoph turned the lawn to a soggy quagmire and it’s best not to go out. What to do? Make a pizza.

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How to Volunteer and What’s Good about it?

The Begonias are making an effort. In summer they will do a takeover bid, swamping everything nearby, but in winter they are welcome. Collapsing under the weight of frost one minute and presenting bright pink flowers the next, Begonias are a symbol of caution.

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New Year, New Sport. Nordic Walking.

The Heather is flowering. Perfect for lucky posies. The village freecycle system has exciting daily doorstep offerings, with anything from cabbage steamers to vanilla candles. This week it’s busy with everybody trying to Fengshui horrible presents away. I could put a pile of posies out in case anybody needs extra luck, but it’s best to leave the flowers on the bush. They are, right now, what bees like best.

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Grapes, Hops and how to Celebrate

The Grapevine has been picking fights all summer. Throttling nearby plants, doubling in size overnight and chucking sour grapes all over the place.

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Mallow, Buddleia and Other Uninvited Guests

This Mallow weed is usually pulled up for the offence of ‘covering the path’. This year I let it stay and now it’s a flowering bush. The chickens love lurking in it, sniffing out ants or something.

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